For you, the dress code is casual.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Tales of a Bookseller

Back when I worked at the booksellers, we were rather pugnacious little intellectuals when it came to our humour. We would invent false book titles and plug the computer with them. (Pity for the new employee reading off available titles by an author and rattling off "Harry Pothead and the Big Bag of Cheetohs" or "The Celestine Profit Margin" by Oprah Winfrey.)

I've just been cleaning up my filing cabinet and came across one such cocky bit of humour. One Halloween, I took all the mini-Smarties boxes we had as counter give-aways and I arranged them in the formation of Stonehenge. In the middle I planted this cute little card I hand-drew. It read:
c. 3500 BC

A Megalithic post-and-beam structure comprised of an organic, milky substance, of which origin's remain unknown. Little is known of the builders and their mysterious ways except that they seemed colourful and happy.

At the end of the day, the structure was still intact. Not one box of Smarties had been taken. I was so proud of that. Ha. Colourful and happy.


There was a time in the bookstore when a woman asked us if we had a copy of The Talmud. My colleague replied "Yes, in the 'religion' section."

She gasped. "'Religion' section? You mean you put it with all the other religions?"

My colleague look stunned. He turned to me with a baffled expression, then glanced back at her. "Oh, that's so wrong? Should it be in its own section, marked by a little gold star up top? And what, when someone returns one for whatever reason, should we segregate it before we burn it?"

Maybe you had to be there.